Venezuela just cut its workweek once again, and not because someone has been reading Timothy Ferriss. Earlier this month, President Nicolas Maduro gave Fridays off to the public sector to minimize power usage in the ongoing energy crisis. Now, VP Aristobulo Isturiz has announced those same workers—numbering about 2 million—should take Wednesdays and Thursdays off, too, effectively creating a two-day workweek, the BBC reports. "There will be no work in the public sector on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, except for fundamental and necessary tasks," Isturiz proclaimed on national TV (though Forbes wonders why "anyone in the bureaucracy [is] doing anything at all that is not a 'fundamental and necessary task'"). Maduro—who said Tuesday that the revised workweek would last at least two weeks, per Reuters—has blamed the energy problems on erratic weather caused by El Nino, including a drought.
"We are requesting international help, technical and financial aid to help revert the situation," he said, per the BBC. "We are managing the situation in the best possible way while we wait for the rains to return." Opposition members, though, blame "mismanagement and corruption," CNN notes, and the New York Times reports an electoral panel has started the process to allow Maduro to be removed from office. "Maduro says that 'we in government don't stop working for a second.' Of course. Except for Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays!" an opposition newspaper columnist wrote. Venezuelans are enduring ever-increasing blackouts, spoiled food, problems getting running water, and uncomfortable temperatures. "We can't go on living like this," a man tells CNN. "We Venezuelan people deserve much better." And a shop owner started to cry when asked how difficult things have been, replying, "This life is killing us."